<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

In spite of these problems, the Internet has considerable potential for enhancing students’ learning, precisely because of its flexibility and near universality. Some of the best recent successes involve the creation of a learning commons (sometimes also called an information commons or teaching commons) , a combination of a website and an actual, physical place in a school or library that brings together information, students and teachers so that both (though perhaps especially students) can learn (Haas&Robertson, 2004; Beagle, 2006). A learning commons includes an online library catalogue and online Internet service, but it also offers other services: online information and advice about study skills, for example, as well as access to peer tutors and support groups, either online or in person, that can help with difficulties about writing or doing assignments. As you might suspect, using a learning commons effectively sometimes requires reorganizing certain features of teaching and learning, chiefly toward greater explicit collaboration among students and teachers.

Using local experts and field trips

Two other ways of enhancing learning include bringing local experts to the classroom and taking the class on field trips outside the classroom. Both of these strategies help to make learning more vivid, as well as more relevant to the particular community and lives that students lead.

Local experts

Classroom visits by persons with key experience can often add a lot to many curriculum subjects and topics. In one tenth grade science class studying environmental issues, for example, the teacher invited the city forester, the person responsible for the health of trees planted in city parks and along city boulevards. The forester had special knowledge of the stresses on trees in urban environments, and he was able to explain and give examples of particular problems that had occurred and their solutions. In a second grade class with many Hispanic students, on the other hand, a teacher aide was able to serve as an expert visitor by describing her memories of childhood in a Spanish-speaking community in New Mexico. Later she also recruited an older Hispanic friend and relative to the class to describe their experiences growing up in Central America. She also acted as their English-Spanish interpreter. In all of these examples, the experts made the learning more real and immediate. Their presence counteracted the tendency to equate school learning with book-based knowledge—a common hazard when basing instructional planning primarily on curriculum documents.

Field trips

In addition to bringing the world to the classroom by inviting visitors, teachers can do the converse, they can take the classroom to the world by leading students on field trips. Such trips are not confined to any particular grade level. In the early grades of elementary school, for example, one common goal of the curriculum is to learn about community helpers—the police, firefighters, store owners, and others who make a community safe and livable. As indicated already, representatives of these groups can visit the class and tell about their work. But the class can also visit the places which these people tell about: a police station, a fire hall, a local retail store, and the like. Such trips offer a more complete picture of the context in which community professionals work than is possible simply from hearing and reading about it. The benefits are possible for older students as well. In learning about water-borne diseases as part of a biology class, for example, one middle-school class took a field trip to the local water-treatment facility, where staff members explained where the town’s water came from and how the water was cleaned to become drinkable at any tap.

From a teacher’s point of view, of course, there are certain risks about arranging classroom visitors or field trips. One is that a visitor may turn out not to communicate well with children or young people—he or she may assume too much prior knowledge, for example, or veer off the chosen topic. Another problem is that field trips often require additional funds (for admission fees or to pay for a bus), and require support from additional adults—often parents—to supervise students outside of school. Some of these problems are by-passed by arranging “virtual” field trips and hearing from “virtual” visitors: using computer software or media to show students places and activities which they cannot visit in person (Clark, 2006). Generally, though, a computer-based experience cannot compare with a real trip or visitor in vividness, and the benefits of actual, in-person field trips or visitors often therefore outweigh the challenges of arranging them.

Service learning

Still another way to enhance learning is to incorporate service learning , which is activity that combines real community service with analysis and reflection on the significance of the service (Johnson&O’Grady, 2006; Thomsen, 2006). Picking up trash in an urban stream bed, for example, is a community service which students can perform. To transform this service into service learning, students also need to note and reflect on the trash that they find; talk and write about the ecological environment of the stream and of the community; and even make recommendations for improving the local environment. To accomplish these objectives, service learning activities should not be sporadic, nor used as a punishment—as when a teacher or principal assigns trash pick-up as an after-school detention activity.

Under good conditions, service learning enhances instructional plans both morally and intellectually. Morally, it places students in the role of creating good for the community, and counteracts students’ perception that being “good” simply means complying with teachers’ or parents’ rules passively. Intellectually, service learning places social and community issues in a vivid, lived context. The environment, economic inequality, or race relations, for example, are no longer just ideas that people merely talk about, but problems that people actually act upon (Dicklitch, 2005).

As you might suspect, though, making service learning successful is not automatic. For one thing, service learning lends itself well only to certain curriculum areas (for example, community studies or social studies). For another, some students may initially resist service learning, wondering whether it benefits them personally as students (Jones, Gilbride-Brown,&Gasiorski, 2005). Also, some service projects may inadvertently be invented only to benefit students, without adequate consultation or advice from community members. Bringing food hampers to low-income families may seem like a good idea to middle-class students or instructors, but some families may perceive this action less as a benefit than as an act of charity which they therefore resent. But none of these problems are insurmountable. Evaluations generally find that service learning, when done well, increases students’ sense of moral empowerment as well as their knowledge of social issues (Buchanan, Baldwin,&Rudisill, 2002). Like many other educational practices, insuring success with service learning requires doing it well.

Questions & Answers

Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Educational psychology. OpenStax CNX. May 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11302/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Educational psychology' conversation and receive update notifications?